Born to a loving and educated New England family, Rachel Page Elliott, known to all as Pagey, was encouraged to develop her interests and talents wherever they would lead her. And lead her they did, to a life-long fascination with animals, first to horses, then to dogs. Each passion created adventures and opportunities that make her life story so fascinating.
With a growing family and a farm in the country, Pagey bred and competed in a wide range of dog sports with her “Featherquest” Golden Retrievers. Her interests led her to the scientific study of canine structure and movement and ground-shaking research that changed, and is still changing, widely-held beliefs about how dogs move. Curl up with this reminiscence of the life of a woman ahead of her time in her independence and passionate study of her interests and be inspired to follow your own instincts to live life more fully!
Rachel Page has long been one of America’s most respected authorities on dog gait. Her unique illustrated lectures on the subject have been hailed by audiences all over the world and have done much to awaken breeders to the importance of recognising the rights and wrongs in the ways dogs move.
Published 2008 Dogwise Publishing
GILBERTS’ K-9 SEMINARS NEWSLETTER
“This is a rare beautiful love story of a life devoted to love of animals, people, husband, family and puzzles. Pagey as she is called by her many friends all over the world is one who defied and still defies convention. Her parents let her be free – and free she was – a tomboy with her horses. Born in the early 1900’s Pagey accomplished things unheard of for a young girl and a young woman – in what was then considered a mans world. God loves her and provided her protection in her many adventures. Her inquisitive mind and desire to learn and then to teach others drove her to become one of the top authorities in the world on canine structure and movement. Her desire to base her research on scientific principles to shatter the conventional dogma made Pagey controversial in the dog world. Some elements of the dog world still resist Pagey’s work in cineradiography, or moving X-rays, of bones and muscle movement inside the dog as dogs moved at varying speeds on a treadmill. They fall back on old wives tales based on the mistaken notion that horses and dogs move the same. Pagey teaches and writes about breed specific structure and movement. Based on her strong principles, instilled by her parents and her church, she drove forward challenging the generic dog concept. Pagey blazed trails of knowledge and love for animals in a world that in her early life was dominated by men. After her marriage, her husband encouraged her to continue her passion for animal in general and Golden Retrievers in particular. Even today in her high 90’s Pagey continues to contribute to the knowledge of canine structure and movement. Her accomplishment in horses and dogs is matched in the world of puzzles. Read the book for that amazing puzzle part of her life. Her love shines through from every page – you will be a better person for reading and sharing her love of life, family, friends, people, horses, dogs and puzzles.” E.M. Gilbert Jr.
APDT CHRONICLE OF THE DOG
“Rachel Page Elliott’s new book, From Hoofbeats to Dogsteps: A Life of Listening to and Learning From Animals, is the autobiography of a woman who has contributed so much to our understanding of dogs. On the one hand, it made me eager for an opportunity to meet Mrs. Elliott. Even through her humble and understated approach, it is clear that she is ageless, timeless, and limitless with lots of interests, energy, and that she has an insightful, kind approach to both people and dogs. On the other hand, I couldn’t get too excited about her tales of early life and her trip out west, and other parts of her life story. Although she has clearly led an interesting life, her stories about it lack the luster of a true storyteller. The result of this is that the early parts of the book read a bit like a recitation of facts and events of her life. In contrast to the tales of her early life, the sections of this book about her masterwork Dogsteps are thoroughly absorbing. Elliott has a great approach to looking at information, and at the world. She clearly places great value on data, and makes her evaluations based on the facts, not just people’s best guesses or what has long been accepted. This process, combined with her openness to new ideas has made her extensive contributions to our understanding of dogs valuable. Mrs. Elliott is persistent in pursuing the truth with careful observations. If all others used her methods, there would be much less squabbling over issues that could be resolved objectively. It was enlightening to realize how her life experiences, including being an accomplished horseback rider and also a breeder led to her interest in canine gaits. Her novel approach to researching the subject with modern technology and her tireless efforts to communicate the results of her studies are greatly to be admired. I most enjoyed the parts of this book that concerned Elliott’s research on canine movement, and would have preferred that the book focus more time on that and less on other time periods in her life. That said, a truly fascinating aspect of the early parts of the book involves the recognition of how times have changed over nearly a century. For example, she was breeding Golden Retrievers back when they were uncommon in this country, a situation which today is hard to fathom. Furthermore, Elliott’s remark about her first fiancée’s potential impropriety when she visited his family, “Sometimes he tried to sit on the edge of the cot,” certainly conveys the changing times! I found this remark, and others like it, to be exactly as I imagine Rachel Paige Elliott to be absolutely charming!” Karen London
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